A robot that makes graffiti seems to go against the very essence of the craft, and so it wasn’t surprising that some of the notable early entries in this category, like the groundbreaking-for-its-time Hektor, ended up being more like spray-painted printers for an pre-formulated drawing. (Even Hektor’s designers simply called it a “spray-paint output device.”) But with their “Senseless Drawing Bot,” Japanese designers So Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi have found a way around the input-output nature of these drawing machines by mounting a double pendulum on top of a modified electric skateboard.
In the video above, the first pendulum swings in long semicircles, like an arm, while the second pendulum functions more like a hand, which dips and swirls in tighter circular motions. It’s this second part of the equation that gives the painted surface a calligraphic feel that more closely resembles the highly stylized lettering found in street tagging.
The designers used a software program called Arduino to create an algorithm that the machine follows for its movements. But Kanno and Yamaguchi don’t always know how it’s going to turn out in the end. “The algorithm of movement is always the same,” Kanno tells Co.Design. “But the movement is not the same all the time because the double pendulum makes chaos.”